Crap

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De Bruin
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Re: Crap

Postby De Bruin » Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:46 pm

Point well taken, though thinking your benchmark museum operating hours driving to mean failure is not realistic for most individuals and clubs. Put another way, I'd just like something that doesn't fail for the rest of my lifetime on my home layout.
Also we have 30 plus year old AN drives on my club that have out lived a lot of vertical can drives (though true, not MTH's) having equivalent service lives, though again way far less than your 8 hours, six days a week, 52 weeks, etc.
If the MTH version of the vertical can drive is superior to all of of this drek, then great, good to know, please Atlas bring it on, at least so I could buy one or more without having to buy an entire locomotive with it.
Have to admit I never knew how generous MTH was with replacement parts either.
Again it would be nice to easily to get good replacement drives.
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E7
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Re: Crap

Postby E7 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:18 am

De Bruin wrote:Maybe, but I doubt the dearth of low end decent EMD F unit models can be attributed to the plethora of Roco F9's since the 70's. The Atwater/AN F3 and F7s, while not as dirt cheap as the Roco's have their issues too, and furthermore are rarely as inexpensive as the Roco F9's. They have to be built too though I think most here would agree it's easier to get a decent engine out of AN's, with less work than trying the same thing with the more inexpensive Roco F9.


Pete, I think you missed the gist of what I was trying to say. My point was that because people were willing to accept junk like the Roco F9's, that for years, NO ONE produced anything decent regardless of price, the only exception, being brass.

As Sarge so accurately says in his post:

"Admittedly, there are a couple jewels under the sh*thouse in that list, but that doesn’t justify preserving the entire content of the cistern. Instead, it looks like it will all survive as a millstone around the neck to stymie any advancement in the quality of RTR offerings in the scale."

To put it bluntly, things won't be improved, you'll get the same old CRAP.
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sarge
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Re: Crap

Postby sarge » Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:28 am

I have to say I really don’t care about museum use robustness. I’m a hobbiest, not a museum. The vast majority of us are not museums, and survivability of a drive for years eight hours a day going in circles at one speed is not a useful metric for the purpose.

Performance speaks to those of us who do proto-ops as part of our hobby, specifically starting performance. If a China drive is to be useful, we need more than just 2-rail wheelsets. We need 2-rail gearing conversions, too. Until then, they are just hi-rail drives, and useless for anything but set-speed orbiting.

Then there is fidelity. That quality is important if one is going to buy RTR rather than a kit. 3/4ths of what is on that list isn’t worth converting if I’m honest; it would have a better fit going to Menards for their three-rail range. Even if the basic castings might be worth the bench space to make an actual model from, you pay “complete-model” prices (for Atlas you are talking a c-note for a car) for a very-involved project just to make it acceptable? Where’s the value in that? Most of it is “behind scratch”; you buy it, you assess it, you bin it, and start from scratch.

Compatibility in this case is a bit of a nitpick, but most of this stuff is pure hi-rail. No coupler pads, swinging pilots, et al. What will happen with Atlas is they might put pads on, but they stubbornly stick with their bizarre screw spacing so you bodge it or redrill it for the defacto standard Kadee box, or buy the Atlas version which is sort of close. Certainly, using their re-issue of the Weaver composite gon as an example, I wouldn’t expect the height off the rails to be remotely correct; more flood-height.

All this hi-rail gear engineered with compromise to sell to the scale marketplace isn’t helpful. Oddly, Sunsets approach appears to come from the other direction and they successfully build stuff that isn’t fatally compromised. Atlas actually has rolling stock that is nice, and the horizontal drive a la SW series proves the point. It can be done if we just have to keep this 3r/2r marriage from hell going for the sake of the children. Again oddly, there were a couple MTH cars that were really nice and worth converting, like their steel ice-reefer. That one isn’t even on the list, just (mostly) the trainset sh*t.

As long as this garbage survives, a proto-modeller or an ops guy will compare it to the current HO offerings and would be a fool not to go with what is the better model out of the box and what is the better performer out of the box. Here’s a tip. It ain’t gonna be RTR O. All the talk going around recently from the Kings et al about selling O to the masses therefor becomes evangelism without substance to these people, simply because we’re drowning in stuff that harkens back to the Tyco of the 60s but supersized for the visually impaired, while offering next to nothing that is mainstream HO or even N state-of-the-art. Even E7s tired old Roco F (which I agree should be considered history, not mainstream) looks just as good as this stuff.

Like the three railers have 3RS, this stuff is 2RT (2-rail tinplate). Do we really need another flood of this same stuff?
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Rufus T. Firefly
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Re: Crap

Postby Rufus T. Firefly » Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:41 am

sarge wrote:I’m a hobbiest, not a museum. The vast majority of us are not museums, and survivability of a drive for years eight hours a day going in circles at one speed is not a useful metric for the purpose.


True.

Performance speaks to those of us who do proto-ops as part of our hobby, specifically starting performance. If a China drive is to be useful, we need more than just 2-rail wheelsets. We need 2-rail gearing conversions, too. Until then, they are just hi-rail drives, and useless for anything but set-speed orbiting.


Ops or not, we still should be wanting good overall performance of drives. Just a good solid drive would be a welcome product!

Then there is fidelity. That quality is important if one is going to buy RTR rather than a kit. 3/4ths of what is on that list isn’t worth converting if I’m honest; it would have a better fit going to Menards for their three-rail range. Even if the basic castings might be worth the bench space to make an actual model from, you pay “complete-model” prices (for Atlas you are talking a c-note for a car) for a very-involved project just to make it acceptable? Where’s the value in that? Most of it is “behind scratch”; you buy it, you assess it, you bin it, and start from scratch.

Compatibility in this case is a bit of a nitpick, but most of this stuff is pure hi-rail. No coupler pads, swinging pilots, et al. What will happen with Atlas is they might put pads on, but they stubbornly stick with their bizarre screw spacing so you bodge it or redrill it for the defacto standard Kadee box, or buy the Atlas version which is sort of close. Certainly, using their re-issue of the Weaver composite gon as an example, I wouldn’t expect the height off the rails to be remotely correct; more flood-height.


None of it holds any interest to me; one wonders what metric was applied to what was chosen to acquire and/or if that's all that was even really possible or available. The entire acquisition is questionable as to real purpose and strategy.

All this hi-rail gear engineered with compromise to sell to the scale marketplace isn’t helpful. Oddly, Sunsets approach appears to come from the other direction and they successfully build stuff that isn’t fatally compromised. Atlas actually has rolling stock that is nice, and the horizontal drive a la SW series proves the point. It can be done if we just have to keep this 3r/2r marriage from hell going for the sake of the children. Again oddly, there were a couple MTH cars that were really nice and worth converting, like their steel ice-reefer. That one isn’t even on the list, just (mostly) the trainset sh*t.


"It can be done" - yes, but it appears not to be of interest as a goal given the choices made; again, choices were made on what basis; seems not to include the 2R that would be welcomed.

As long as this garbage survives, a proto-modeller or an ops guy will compare it to the current HO offerings and would be a fool not to go with what is the better model out of the box and what is the better performer out of the box. Here’s a tip. It ain’t gonna be RTR O. All the talk going around recently from the Kings et al about selling O to the masses therefor becomes evangelism without substance to these people, simply because we’re drowning in stuff that harkens back to the Tyco of the 60s but supersized for the visually impaired, while offering next to nothing that is mainstream HO or even N state-of-the-art. Even E7s tired old Roco F (which I agree should be considered history, not mainstream) looks just as good as this stuff.


Evangelism seems rarely with substance.......I'm still mildly curious though as to the destination of the steam line of products and whether there even is a a home for it.
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bob turner
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Re: Crap

Postby bob turner » Fri Mar 19, 2021 11:41 am

I was only commenting on durability of MTH.
Atlas was an entirely different story. There was some axle bearing arrangement in those that made re-assembly problematic.
Atlas, too, was quick to provide free parts, but failures were more frequent, and as I recall, whole assemblies had to be replaced
On the freebies, remember, this is a huge museum. Atlas gave us an entire locomotive.

With Martin, none of this affects my part of the hobby - I simply do not collect plastic models. However, there is one MTH SD9 and three K-Line T-Ms around here. None of those will wear out in my lifetime.

Other than gear ratio and appearance, the omly real flaw in the China drive setups is the problem of ballast getting in the gears. We had very little of that - the cure was a quick inspection with a dental pick.

Finally, it goes without saying that I use the term "China drive" with respect. I do not subscribe to use of a country name to disparage groups of people. We are free to express such things, but I am trying to avoid doing so.

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sarge
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Re: Crap

Postby sarge » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:48 pm

bob turner wrote:
Other than gear ratio and appearance, the omly real flaw in the China drive...


To a degree like saying, “Other than the handle and the head, the only real flaw with this axe...” Grin!

That’s just the diesel drive, too. The real point is not just the drives in diesels. The car heights are too high, the frames truncated to clear tinplate flanges and couplers, the pilots swing on the diesels, the handrails are usually wrong and clunky, the details are “childproof”, the paintwork garish, the basic dimensions approximate, roofwalks are a foot thick, window glazing not even inset to compensate for the hopelessly thick cabwalls, &c.

I have a real hard time calling these things “models”. Yet we are expected to accept them as some manna for which we should give thanks to a benevolent creator? We should be out in the streets singing because the tooling has been saved from the scrapheap?

Hardly.
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E7
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Re: Crap

Postby E7 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:02 pm

I think we can give this one a Shakespearean slant, and call it: "Much Ado About Nothing"
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bob turner
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Re: Crap

Postby bob turner » Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:23 pm

And for Sarge - don't forget the doorstop collectors out here. You want to compare fidelity between, say, a Lionel PA and the sand-cast PAs that Maroon and I collect? Lionel will win the fidelity contest hands down. Actually, you can compare the recent Lionel PAs with Key, at least from the belt rail up. Way better than Overland.

Without the 3-rail market, none of these dies we are agonizing over would exist.

And I forgot Weaver - I do not remember now whether it was Weaver or Atlas that donated the locomotive. We did publicly acknowledge it at the time. I do know that the Weaver and Atlas China drives were not as long-lived and maintainable as the MTH/ K-Line units were.

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sarge
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Re: Crap

Postby sarge » Sat Mar 20, 2021 6:03 am

bob turner wrote:And for Sarge - don't forget the doorstop collectors out here. You want to compare fidelity between, say, a Lionel PA and the sand-cast PAs that Maroon and I collect? Lionel will win the fidelity contest hands down.


Doorstop collecting isn’t germane to the topic. If I’m honest collecting as a whole isn’t germane to the topic. Doorstops are our history onto themselves and are collectable and interesting precisely because they aren’t made anymore. Now, if we were still french-casting A&S E-units and there was a nightly glow up Vermont way as more B-Lectrics were being poured it would be the same problem. The scale wouldn’t be advancing, just drowning itself in the same stuff that harkens to decades past. In the case of the MTH range, it is stuff that never was state of the art in the first place.

bob turner wrote: Without the 3-rail market, none of these dies we are agonizing over would exist.


My opinion we would have been better off. We’d have instead Atlas O comparable to Atlas HO rather than Tyco. We’d be “agonising” over dies comparable to the Bowser HO Alco Centuries. We wouldn’t be seeing a company buying up someone else’s dies for a poor plastic SD40-2 who already make a mediocre plastic SD40-2 at the same time someone else is taking reservations for a hopefully adequate SD40-2.

In short, we wouldn’t be flooded with substandard (compared to the other real scales) representations that do nothing but ensure no-one attempts a decent version, let alone clear some new ground. That is called stagnancy, arguably the state before death.

bob turner wrote:Actually, you can compare the recent Lionel PAs with Key, at least from the belt rail up. Way better than Overland.


That one is your opinion oft expressed. If you were to actually measure them rather than look at them with a subjective eye, I’d take the Overland. That subjective eye, I believe, is very important though. In PAs for example, I liked the 80s Sunset over the Overland and it was better than Key until their last run. I tweaked and painted several sets of that Sunset/Samhongsa version; captured the panache and “feel” better than anything else at the time.

The Lionel is my point, obliquely. Am I interested in paying full-boat for something only half of which is of any use? The carbody is very nice above the beltrail, yes. Below it, its bin-fodder. It’s a mermaid; gorgeous up top but, as the sun sets and the nether regions become just as important, you still are trying to have sex with a fish.
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Re: Crap

Postby bob turner » Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:25 am

I don't remember measuring the Lionel, but I did indeed carefully measure the MTH PA with a Key PA right next to it. MTH got it right except for the windshield, and Lionel corrected that. No, the Lionel truck side frames are not sprung, but they look just fine to me.
I do not have a dog in this fight - I own exactly zero plastic PAs. The SD and Train Masters stay because they cost next to nothing and look great. They are still plastic, and not my hobby.

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sarge
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Re: Crap

Postby sarge » Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:47 am

bob turner wrote:I don't remember measuring the Lionel, but I did indeed carefully measure the MTH PA with a Key PA right next to it. MTH got it right except for the windshield, and Lionel corrected that. No, the Lionel truck side frames are not sprung, but they look just fine to me.
I do not have a dog in this fight - I own exactly zero plastic PAs. The SD and Train Masters stay because they cost next to nothing and look great. They are still plastic, and not my hobby.


Well understood and perfectly supportable. No more than doorstops and eBay are mine, which is probably why I’ve found nothing to comment about here until this subject came up. Grin!
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rogruth
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Re: Crap

Postby rogruth » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:22 pm

I don't read all of the foruns or magazines but there do seem to be many words being printed on this topic in various forums.
I read that Atlas bought the rights to some diesel locomotives and some rolling stock. I may have missed the announcement
but I haven't seen anything about track, steam power or control systems. It reminds me a little of forum topics such as
"What would you like-insert your favorite company-to catalog this next time".
roger

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Re: Crap

Postby bob turner » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:47 pm

You and I seem to have the same idea. If there is a market for something and nobody else steps up, you have an opportunity. That is the way our system works.
If Atlas or MTH produces stuff you don't like, then don't buy it.

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sarge
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Re: Crap

Postby sarge » Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:11 am

rogruth wrote:It reminds me a little of forum topics such as
"What would you like-insert your favorite company-to catalog this next time".


Hi, Roger. I haven’t read about it anywhere but here and the link originally provided, but this might actually be the opposite of the threads you mention. This isn’t a wish list for someone to make, its one for someone to not make. GRIN!

All joking aside, in the scale world most of us don’t have a loyalty to a company or a range like Lionel or MTH or Williams. We tend to have them for a prototype instead, PRR, UP, Southern. Whoever makes something useful, we’ll buy.


bob turner wrote:You and I seem to have the same idea.


Yep. Pretty much.


bob turner wrote: If Atlas or MTH produces stuff you don't like, then don't buy it.


And I don’t. But, and its my core beef here, when they flood the market with garbage such that...

bob turner wrote:If there is a market for something and nobody else steps up, you have an opportunity. That is the way our system works.


...no thinking entrepreneur would risk stepping up within a market that can’t even absorb the garbage we’re flooded with, and those same companies threaten the marketplace with more floods of garbage if anyone was to do something progressive, I can speak out that I have a problem with it, especially as I’m now retired from the industry and holding my tongue is no longer required as a matter of my employment and expressing personal convictions can’t be construed as reflecting the entity I work for. I’m a hobbiest now.

Its great being a hobbiest and a consumer. GRIN!

I imagine this equine carcass is well and truly flogged at this point.
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robert.
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Re: Crap

Postby robert. » Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:38 am

This horse still has one leg to stand on. :lol: I find it amazing any manufacture can make and sell a new product in o scale. I'd wager there is more product on the secondary market than anybody can handle. I can tell you from personal experience. Getting a product out of Asia right now is very difficult. This will be the second spring and summer seasons with no new shipments for us. Our manufactures have moved to made to order. With almost no stock inventory to fill orders. They also have no warm bodies to make inventory. Asia has a real production problem.
Last edited by robert. on Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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